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Showing posts with label PaulineBM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PaulineBM. Show all posts

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Memento Mori Prayers on the Last Things- Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP

Memento Mori Prayers on the Last Things 
Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819850089

It has been a long time since I have been this eager to get my hands on a new prayer book. But after how impactful Remember Your Death: Memento Mori A Lenten Devotional and Remember Your Death: Memento Mori Journal were I had high expectations for this prayer book. And it did snot disappoint. Not since discovering The Handbook of Prayers edited by Reverend James Socias have I found a prayer book so beneficial. At one point I had Copies of the handbook in my desk at work, my desk at home, my backpack, and my bed side table. I also always kept a spare so I could give it away. That is exactly how I feel about this Memento Mori Prayer Book. I wish I could buy it by the case to be able to give them away. And I cannot wait for the eBook edition to come out so I can always have it on me. This is the best new prayer book I have had in years.

The prayers in this book were compiled or written by Sister Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP. The physical book is a beautiful volume. And I am not normally a physical book guy. It is dark grey leather. It has just an embossed skull on the front cover and “Memento Mori” in Script on the back. It had a single black built in silk bookmark. And silver gilded edges to the pages. The end sheets match the cover of the Memento Mori Journal. The sections in the volume are:

Memento Mori and the Last Things
How to Live Memento Mori
Death: Prayers to Live and to Die Well
     Prayers to Imitate Jesus
     Prayers for a Good Death
     Prayers for the Dying
     Marian prayers for Assistance in Life and Death
Judgement: Prayers to Prepare to Meet Jesus
     Prayers of Repentance
     Prayers for the Dead
Hell: Prayers to Combat the Powers of Darkness
     The Sacrament of Baptism
     Prayers to Jesus, Our Eucharistic Lord
     Spiritual Warfare Prayers
     The Power of the Holy Rosary
Heaven: Prayers for Union with God
     Prayers of Praise to God
     Prayers to live in Heaven
     Marian prayers of Hope
Appendix 1
     Basic Prayers in Latin and English
Appendix 2
     An Explanation of Indulgences

There are a few full-page illustrations in the book. Overall this is an incredible little volume of prayers. I am sure you will benefit from investing in this book, and spending time prayer the prayers within.

Another excellent volume from Sister Theresa Aletheia. I great little volume and tool for your prayer and spiritual warfare toolbox. One of the best prayer books I have ever used, I highly recommend it. This book was so good I added it to my All Time Top Ten Catholic Books.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP:
Remember Your Death: Memento Mori A Lenten Devotional
Remember Your Death: Memento Mori Journal

Memento Mori Prayers on the Last Things 
The Prodigal You Love

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Remember Your Death Memento Mori Journal - Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP

Remember Your Death
Memento Mori Journal:
Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP
Pauline Books and Media

I have previously reviewed ‘Remember Your Death Memento Mori: A Lenten Devotional’ and now it is time to review the companion volume, the ‘Remember Your Death: Memento Mori Journal’. This book is designed so that it can be used in several ways. It can be used as a workbook during lent with the Lenten Devotional. It can be uses for keeping a record of your daily Examen. Or just as a spiritual journal. The sections of this book are:

How to Use This Journal
247 Journal Pages
Memento Mori Prayers
     Short Memento Mori Aspirations
     Prayer for a Holy Death
     Hail Mary
     Te Deum
     Prayer to Jesus Life
     Prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving
     Anima Christie
     Ancient Prayer to the Virgin Mary
     Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel
     Prayer to Saint Joseph for a Happy Death
     Prayer to the God of Truth
     Prayer to Our Mother of Mercy
     Prayer to Jesus, Fountain of Living Water
     Prayer for a Good Death
     Eternal Rest Prayer for the Deceased
     Prayer for the Faithful Departed
     In Paradisum
     Prayer for Departed Relatives and friends
     Prayer for God’s Mercy
     Prayer for the Dying

The 247 Journal pages each have quote at the top of the page. Some are by the author, some contributed but unattributed, many from the bible and the saints, popes and even one from Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  few are taken from literature, for example William Shakespeare, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oscar Wilde, and Blaise Pascal. 

The introduction reminds us that “Remembering one’s death is an absolutely essential aspect of the Christian life, not only because it helps us to live well, but also because it helps us to remember what Christ has done for us. Jesus trampled death!” The section on how to use this journal outlines four ways it can be used other than just as a journal. How to use it to journal with intention or a plan. 

This is a beautifully crafted hard cover journal. And when you combine the quality of the construction with the ways to use it, and the quotes to inspire thoughtful reflection it becomes even more of a treasure. I am sure anyone blessed with a copy of this journal who uses it will be blessed. 

My only wish is that an eBook edition would be released for those of us prefer an electronic library and who keep electronic journals. I feel I will be transcribing the quotes from the book to my eJournal as lent proceeds this year. But even with that personal wish, I cannot think of a single reason not to recommend this volume. Especially if you will use it in conjunction with the Lenten Devotional

An excellent toot for helping you to grow in your faith. It will help you remember your death; and live better now while doing so. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP:
Remember Your Death: Memento Mori A Lenten Devotional
Remember Your Death: Memento Mori Journal

Memento Mori Prayers on the Last Things 
The Prodigal You Love

Monday, 4 February 2019

Remember Your Death Memento Mori A Lenten Devotional - Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP

Remember Your Death
Memento Mori: A Lenten Devotional
Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819865175
eISBN 9780819865182

As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I wanted to read it. Without knowing anything else other than the title. I did not know that this book grew out of a series of tweets. For Sister Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSB put a ceramic skull on her desk and started tweeting about memento mori. And a movement was born. Memento Mori – Latin for ‘remember your death’ and her daily tweets gathered a large following. She wrote quotes and personal insights into the practice of remembering that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Lent is a time of preparation, and the whole concept of memento mori is a preparation. And in this volume Sr. Theresa combines both.

Now I have read this book through from beginning to end, in order to write a fair review. I also know that I will read it this year during lent and it will likely be read many times in the years to come over lent. Lent is a time to remember Christ’s death and sacrifice for us. And for us to think on our own mortality. But this book is much more than just another Lenten devotional. Part of the description for this book states:

“Each day contains a refection written by Sr. Theresa Aletheia based on the liturgy of the day for all of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. The devotional also includes a memento mori examen or review of the day, a daily moment of intercessory prayer, and daily reflections on death from the tradition, including the Church Fathers and many of the saints. Prompts are provided for journaling that can be used along with the Remember Your Death: Memento Mori Journal.”

And also:

“This devotional will help you to meditate on your own mortality and the incredible gift of salvation in preparation for Easter. Whether you get a skull for your desk, a memento mori journal, or a Lenten devotional, it is vitally important to the Christian life to remember the fragility of your life on earth - because one day you will die.”

It can be read at any time of the year, but it is tied to the liturgical readings during lent. The sections in the book are:

Remember Your Death—Change Your Life
Live Memento Mori
The Memento Mori Daily Examen

The Lenten Journey Begins
Ash Wednesday
Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Friday after Ash Wednesday
Saturday after Ash Wednesday

First Week of Lent
Second Week of Lent
Third Week of Lent
Fourth Week of Lent
Fifth Week of Lent
Holy Week Palm Sunday
Monday of Holy Week
Tuesday of Holy Week
Wednesday of Holy Week
Holy Thursday
Good Friday
Holy Saturday
Easter Sunday

For a total of 47 devotional readings. These readings draw from the bible, church documents, and the writings of saints. A Sample devotion from the fourth week is:


READINGS: JER 11:18–20 / PS 7:2–3, 9BC–10, 11–12 / JN 7:40–53

“A division occurred in the crowd because of him.” —John 7:43

IN TODAY’S GOSPEL, THE PEOPLE cannot decide on Jesus’ true identity. Is he a prophet? Is he the Messiah? Is he a fake? The crowd is divided. Jesus disrupts—Truth always does. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews describes the incisive, challenging effect that Jesus’ truth has on people: “the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart” (4:12). God’s Word is Jesus, and his identity cuts right to the heart. The Word of God pierces souls and penetrates both our minds and our hearts.

However, like the people in the crowd, when we are met with the person of Jesus we are divided. This division occurs in two ways. First, it happens interiorly. We want to believe in the words of Jesus and to follow him to new life. But we are divided because we also want to forget his troubling demands for change. Second, when we begin to choose to follow Christ, we experience great division exteriorly. Prioritizing the Gospel concretely in our lives in a healthy but also a radical way can cause other people who love us to respond negatively. Some oppose us because they hate religion. Others resent moving to second place in our lives. Still others are frightened or bitter because our conversion of life calls them to similar changes.

Following Jesus requires death. In the midst of interior and exterior division, we must be willing to die to many of our desires and expectations. The people we thought would remain by our side might disappear. And those we expected to leave immediately might remain. The most religious people in our lives may, surprisingly, resent our radical discipleship more than the less religious. People will surprise us in good ways and bad. But in the midst of the confusion, we can remain by Christ’s side, knowing that he will bring good from this dying to ourselves. As Saint Paul reminds us: “If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him” (Rom 6:8). Everything in our being may resist dying with Jesus. Nevertheless, we can ask Jesus to open our hearts to listen to his voice. In the power of Jesus Christ, we can walk with him through the screaming interior and exterior voices to the Place of the Skull. The Son of God will lead us through death to new life and to powerful unity of heart.

Examen and Intercessory Prayer

Review your day (see the Memento Mori Daily Examen, p. 8).

Think of someone you know who opposes your discipleship. Pray a Hail Mary for this person and for all who resist the call of Jesus in their own lives and in their loved ones’ lives.

“Seeing, then, that all things have an end, these two things are simultaneously set before us—death and life; and everyone will experience it. For as there are two kinds of coins, the one of God, the other of the world, and each has its special character stamped upon it [so is it also here.] The unbelieving are of this world; but the believing have, in love, the character of God the Father by Jesus Christ, by whom, if we are not ready to die into his passion, his life is not in us. … I exhort you to learn to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed. Do all then, imitating the same divine conduct, pay respect to one another … continually love each other in Jesus Christ. Let nothing exist among you that may divide you; but be united with your bishop, and those who preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.”
—Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Magnesians

Journaling and Prayer

Consider a time that you felt tempted to make a bad choice but through God’s grace you chose the good. Give thanks to God and ask him how you can make more choices like this in the future. Draw a symbol that represents the battle between life and death within your soul. Or write a prayer thanking Jesus for already winning the battle and ask him to help you to grow in trust."

As can be see from the above sample, this is a deep devotional. It will help you reflect, help you connect with the saints. And help to foster growth. It is an amazing volume that I highly recommend.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP:
Remember Your Death: Memento Mori A Lenten Devotional
Remember Your Death: Memento Mori Journal

Memento Mori Prayers on the Last Things 
The Prodigal You Love

Friday, 28 December 2018

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Fourth Quarter 2018

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Fourth Quarter 2018

My total books this quarter is down a bit from last quarter, but my page count is actually up. Just variations in the length of material read. And I am finishing the year at just under a book a day with 359 books read over the year, down a bit from the 380 last year. The Quarter by the numbers: 

78 books read
49 received 5/5 stars
8 of those had been read before
25 were non-Fiction
24 were fiction

So here is my top ten fiction and non-fiction books of the fourth quarter 2018. 

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books:

1. Inspiration from the Saints - Maolsheachlann O Ceallaigh
2. Father Damien's Letters - Joseph Damien De Veuster
3. Finding Our Way Home: A family's story of life, love, and loss - J Damon Dagnone
4. Footprints of the Northern Saints - Basil Cardinal Hume
5. Love In Action - Fernando Ocáriz
6. Overcoming Lukewarmness: Healing Your Soul's Sadness - Francis Fernandez-Carvajal
7. Wisdom from Pope Paul VI - Pope Paul VI and Mary Leonora Wilson FSP
8. Call Him Father: How to Experience the Fatherhood of God - Fr. Edward Maritany
9. To Raise the Fallen: A Selection of the War Letters, Prayers, and Spiritual Writings of Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J. - Edited by Patrick Kenny
10. Catholic Christianity: A Complete Catechism of Catholic Beliefs Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church - Peter Kreeft 

Top Ten Fiction Books:

1. Lives of the Early Christians in Rome Trilogy - Father Michael E. Giesler
Junia - Marcus - Grain of Wheat
2. Thanos Titan Consumed - Barry Lyga - MARVEL's Avengers
3. The Absence of War - Amy Welborn
4. Siege of Reginald Hill - Corinna Turner 
5. Treachery and Truth - Katy Huth Jones 
6. Ornamental Graces - Carolyn Astfalk
7. Charlotte's Honor - Ellen Gable - Great War Great Love Book 2
8. Guarding Aaron - T.M. Gaouette - Faith & Kung Fu Book 3
9. David Vining Short Stories Collections:
A Boy and His Satellite
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
10. Death by Airship - Arthur Slade - Orca Currents

If you give some of these a try I am sure they will be with the read! 

Note: I did not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they were in the bonus section. As stated it was no easy task making this quarter. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list. This post is going up early because of the end of the quarter falling during holy week.

Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Treachery and Truth - Katy Huth Jones - A Story of Good King Wenceslas

Treachery and Truth
Katy Huth Jones
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819875358
eISBN 9780819875389


I had this book on my Kindle for a little over a year. It kept popping up in recommendations from friends, fellow reviewers and authors. And every time I moved it towards the top of my reading list, it was quickly bumped down and forgotten until I was reminded about it again. This last time I was reminded about it, I immediately started reading the book. And what an excellent read it is. I had a hard time putting this book down; and ended up devouring it in three sessions over two days. Over the last few years I have read several Christian, Catholic historical fiction novels. Based on a life of a saint, that gives us a glimpse of the life of a saint. And this book does an incredible job of just that.

This is a story filled with history, betrayal, faith, and following God. Most people are aware of the Christmas carol ‘Good King Wenceslas’. This is a story of that man’s life. Saint Wenceslaus, or Vaclav in the Bohemian or Czech as is used in the story. The story is told through the eyes of a servant a young man named Poidevin. Many of the characters are real historical figures, as is the main story. Liberties have been taken to write it into a compelling novel. Set in the ‘dark ages’ around the year 930 A.D. The story takes place between the years 920 and 929 approximately. It is a time of clashes between Pagan religions and the growing Christian Catholic influence. After the death of his father, his mother acting as regent returns to the pagan ways. While Vaclav is faithful to the Catholic church, as was his father and his paternal grandmother. The conflict grows until Vaclav must seize the throne that is rightfully his from his own mother. But his own Christian beliefs prevent him from taking the life of his mother and brother, and it eventually has dire consequences for the king, his family and the whole kingdom.

At one point in the story Poidevin reflects:

“I turned and watched the candle’s flame in the dark room. I’d never noticed before how much light a single candle could produce, how much darkness it dispelled. In that moment, a thought came to me. My master was like a flame burning brightly in the darkness of Bohemia, the darkness of selfishness, greed, ignorance, and an insatiable hunger for power. It was heartening to know how much goodwill one man could spread to others.”

And in many ways that is what this boo does for us 1100 years after the events of the story. Wenceslaus or Vaclav depending on what name you prefer for his was by all accounts a good man, a devote man, and an honest man. He was canonized lest than 70 years after his death.

This story is a great read for young men, it will captivate their interest, and show them a man living his faith well. It was written with a Young Adult audience in mind, and yet I believe it can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. It is wonderfully written. The characters are well written, and the plot, written around the facts we know about this saint’s life. A great read that I can give a solid 5/5 stars.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Katy Huth Jones:
Leandra's Enchanted Flute
Treachery and Truth
Carpe Diem
Stuck in the Muck
Return to Finian Jahndra
Battling the Beast: Growing in Faith through Cancer
Bug Feet: An Introduction to Rhythm in Poetry

He Who Finds Mercy Series:
Mercy's Prince
Mercy’s Gift
Mercy’s Battle
Mercy’s Joy

Contributed to:
Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body

Monday, 17 December 2018

Prayer of the day a prayer to Saint Anthony of Padua

Prayer to Saint Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony, God was always first in your life. You loved him so much that you wanted all people everywhere to come to know, love and serve him too. You used your special talents for teaching and preaching to bring people closer to God, and to help those who were doubtful or confused. 

There were many times in your life when things didn't work out as you had hoped for or expected, Saint Anthony. But you always trusted in God and in his love for you. 

It's not always easy for me to put God first in my life. Would you please help me, Saint Anthony? Show me how I can use my gifts and talents to help the people around me. Help me to know and follow God's will and to trust that God never stops watching over and loving me. 

I want to follow Jesus as you did. Pray for me, Saint Anthony.

This prayer is taken from the Encounter The Saint Series book on Anthony

Saint Anthony of Padua:
Fire and Light
Encounter the Saints Series
Margaret Charles Kerry
Mary Elizabeth Tebo
Ray Morelli (Illustrator)
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819870193
eISBN 9781306806688

Relates posts and links:
For other "Prayer of the Day" posts.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Saint Teresa of Avila Joyful in the Lord - Susan Helen Wallace & Barbara Kiwak - Encounter the Saints Series Book 24

Saint Teresa of Avila
Joyful in the Lord
Encounter the Saints Series Book 24
Susan Helen Wallace
Barbara Kiwak (Illustrator) 
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819871169

I need to state clearly again that this series is amazing! Between my three children and I we have now read 29 of the books in this series. Either by myself, or with one or more child. My children ages 12, 10, and 8 love these books. My son wants to have the complete set in his room, so he keeps asking to buy his own set, because he loves these books so much. And as soon as we finish a book, he wants to begin on another. With each of the books we read we appreciate this series more. And to be honest hope there will be even more books in the future. But now back to this specific book on Saint Teresa of Avila. 

This book is moving. As we were reading my son often asked for one more chapter when we should have been done reading for the night. The story of Katharine and her nuns really encouraged and challenged both of us.

The chapters in this volume are:

1. Teresa's World 
2. Teenage Temptations
3. A Vocation at Last
4. The Surprising Recovery
5. Listening for the Chime
6. A New Beginning 
7. Possible? Yes!
8. Friars of the Reform 
9. The Movement Grows 
10. A Convent in Toledo 
11. A Surprise Assignment
12. On to Seville 
13. The Journey Continues 
14. Home to the Lord 

Often when I read about saints I am encouraged and challenged. While reading this specific book, my son and I both were challenged to listen to God more closely. We are both praying about vocations, mine to the diaconate and his to the priesthood. The example of Teresa of Avila following her vocation inspired both of us. Saint Teresa of Avila was known for both her wit and for her reform of the Carmelite order. She was the first woman Doctor of the church. She exhibited joy in serving God, even as her health declined. My son was specifically fascinated with all the new convents she opened. The hark work just in travelling, let alone starting new work. He was amazed by this vibrant saint.

The prayer in this volume is:

"Saint Teresa of Avila, you are often called great, and that's truly, with God's help, what you became. When you were young, you were ordinary, like me. You wanted to be popular and have fun. Who doesn't? But as time passed, you became more aware of the value of your life and the gifts you had been given by Jesus.

You had the courage to open your heart to listen to the Lord. You thought about and prayed over the way he suffered and died for each of us. You wanted to thank him by the way you lived.

You became a Carmelite nun and began a spiritual reform of the order you loved. Thank you for leaving your example of courage and love for Jesus for all of us to learn from. You show us that, with prayer and sacrifice, we can try to imitate you in our own daily lives. Please help me to be as generous and caring as you were.

This is one of the eight books in the series that is written by Susan Helen Wallace. Also it is one of seven illustrated by Barbara Kiwak. And the two collaborated on this volume and the volume on Saint Katharine Drexel. It follows the format of the series in that there are 5 illustrations sprinkled throughout the book. They appear to either be pencil drawings or charcoal sketches. My son and youngest daughter were both fascinated by the sketches and went over them almost every time we read the book. 

I have read this book three times, first by myself, second with my son, and now I have finished it with my youngest daughter. Each time I have read it I have been encouraged and challenged. My children and I loved this book, and all three children and I love this series! We have now read 28 of the books in the Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Books and Media. And everyone has been a gem. Another amazing read in a wonderful series!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Books and Media:
Blessed James Alberione Media Apostle
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Journey to the Summit
Journeys with Mary Apparitions of Our Lady
Saint André Bessette Miracles in Montreal
Saint Anthony of Padua Fire and Light
Saint Bakhita of Sudan Forever Free
Saint Bernadette Soubirous And Our Lady of Lourdes
Saint Catherine Labouré And Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Saint Clare of Assisi A Light for the World
Saint Damien of Molokai Hero of Hawaii
Saint Edith Stein Blessed by the Cross

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Daughter of America
Saint Faustina Kowalska Messenger of Mercy
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Cecchina's Dream
Saint Francis of Assisi Gentle Revolutionary
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla The Gift of Life
Saint Ignatius of Loyola For the Greater Glory of God
Saint Isaac Jogues With Burning Heart
Saint Joan of Arc God's Soldier
Saint John Bosco Champion for the Young
Saint John Neumann Missionary to Immigrants
Saint John Paul II Be Not Afraid
Saint John Vianney A Priest for All People
Saint Juan Diego And Our Lady of Guadalupe
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha: Courageous Faith
Saint Katharine Drexel The Total Gift
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque And the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Saint Martin de Porres Humble Healer
Saint Maximilian Kolbe Mary's Knight
Saint Paul The Thirteenth Apostle
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina Rich in Love
Saint Teresa of Avila Joyful in the Lord
Saint Teresa of Calcutta Missionary of Charity
Saint Teresa of Kalkota Missionary of Charity
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux The Way of Love
Saint Thomas Aquinas Missionary of Truth
Saint Thomas More Courage, Conscience, and the King
Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto: Shepherds of Fatima
The Saints Pray for Us

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Pamphlets, Booklets, and Books What’s the Difference?

Pamphlets, Booklets, and Books What’s the Difference?

This year I have read and reviewed numerous pamphlets and booklets. I was asked by a read about the formats and functions of the three. It started with the discovery of two Catholic Authors; Alice Curtyane, and Daniel A. Lord. Both were prolific writers in the last century. Both wrote books, booklets and pamphlets. And unfortunately, most of their works are currently out of print. While doing research on these two authors I encountered booklets by The Catholic Truth Society, and have since read 40 books and booklets from CTS. In response to the honest inquiry of non-Catholic, non-Christian reader he is my attempt to add some clarification.

If I were to compare the three formats to fiction to provide some background. If we take the three:

Pamphlet – Short Story
Booklet - Novella
Book – Novel

So, the first distinction is simply length. I cannot give a specific length difference between pamphlets and booklets; but can give some antidotal. Pamphlets art typically printed on thinner paper, and the cover is often the same style of paper, or occasionally a same weight but with color copy. Pamphlets are like tracks or brochures you would pick up at a medical office, or governmental office. Booklets have a heavier card stock cover and are often much longer. I would say most pamphlets are under 50 pages, booklets are between 75-175 pages. Both Pamphlets and booklets have a staple binding.

So that would be the big distinction between booklets and books. Booklets are staple bound, are always ‘paperback’. And are on the shorter side. Books have a glued, glued and stitched binding.

A second factor is the actual process of publishing. Both Blessed James Alberione (1884-1971) and Cardinal Vaughan (1832-1903), were visionaries in using printing presses, and media in evangelization. Cardinal Vaughan founded the Catholic Truth Society, and James Alberione founded the Pauline Family of ministries, including Pauline Books and Media. Both organizations are known to have historically owned their own printing presses. From what I have seen of physical copies of the CTS booklets You can tell when I book was published based on the style, size and format. Again, aligning to the presses, they owned.

For example, older CTS Booklets are printed on a size that matches standard trade paperback. Where the newer CTS booklets are smaller in format. Also, for the newer size you can tell the rough time of printing based on cover designs as they have changed over times, or for some series the color changes every few years.

Now I have been clear in the past that I much prefer electronic books. But the photos below are of physical copies of booklets and books from CTS that I have, that are not available electronically. But with finding authors that I love, and their stuff being out of print I have been ordering scanned copies of old books and booklets from libraries around the world.

And finally, for the purpose. Pamphlets are usually to give a quick introduction, or overview of a topic. The difference between pamphlets and booklets are just length. I have read booklets on single topics, or related topics.  For example I read these three booklets: Saints of North America, Saints of South Asia, and Saints of Africa. Each of these represented numerous saints who were from or served in a specific geographic region. But I have also read booklets of the exact same size and length on specific saints.   

To move from the fiction analogy to a food one; a pamphlet is a taste, a booklet a snack and a book is the whole meal. And what I have loved this year is having so many great snacks from CTS to read. I hope that provides some clarity for the reader who asked the question, and that other readers find it interesting and informative.

My current collection of physical booklets and books from CTS.

A Simple Prayer Book in English and Spanish are booklets bound by staples. The Marian Prayer Book is roughly same size but twice the length and bound by glue with a much heavier cover.

The top two are much older out of print CTS Booklets, the bottom two are more recent booklets.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Wisdom from Pope Paul VI - Saint Pope Paul VI and Mary Leonora Wilson FSP

Wisdom from Pope Paul VI
Saint Pope Paul VI
Mary Leonora Wilson FSP
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819883773
eISBN 9780819883780


This book was published just prior to the canonization of Pope Paul VI. Saint Paul VI holds a level of personal fascination for me, he was pope when I was born, and I remember his passing as one of my earliest memories. This book contains a brief biography of Paul VI, contains a number of selections of his works either from talks, addresses or his writings, each ends with a prayer. And the final section is a collection of prayers attributed to Paul VI. Mary Leonora Wilson FSP is the person who wrote the brief biography and compiled this volume. She states in the introduction:

"I was thrilled when I heard that Pope Paul VI was going to be canonized; he has been a mentor and model to me for more than fifty years. This mentoring started-even though I wasn't aware of it-when I was just a teenager. I entered the congregation of the Daughters of Saint Paul on June 29, 1963, the same day that Pope Paul VI was crowned. The coronation ceremony was fascinating, but foreign to me. It was like opening a time capsule. Little did I know, I was witnessing the elaborate ceremony for the last time. The coronation was just one of the many trappings of aristocracy that would be removed, prompted by subsequent decisions of Pope Paul VI to simplify the papacy and render it more evangelical."

She also says:

"In those early days I was especially impressed with his love for Christ and the Church, his insistence on dialogue and ecumenism, his concern about rampant injustice and escalating violence in the world, and his unwavering serenity and gentleness despite harsh public criticism. I was particularly touched by his compassion, fired by his missionary vision, and awed by the way he embraced and carried the Cross of Christ. Pope Paul VI stoked the fire of my own love of Christ. More by his life than by his words, he taught me what it means to be a disciple of the Master. His weekly addresses illuminated my theology studies, and as I studied Scripture I began to recognize that he was indeed a contemporary prophet. He became "my pope.""

The sections in this book are:

A Brief Biography

     Life Is You, O God!
     Don't Be Afraid
     Believe in Christ
     Immersed in God

     God Loves Us!
     God IS Love
     Respond to Divine Love
     Love Is the Art of Peace

     Mystery of Love
     Extraordinary Bread
     Real Presence
     Mystery of Faith

Mary, Our Mother
     Devotion to Mary
     Look to Mary
     Mother of Christ
     The Rosary

     Inner Silence
     Need of Prayer
     Jesus Prays
     Personal Prayer

     God Is Our Happiness
     Serene in Christ
     Easter Joy
     Joy in the Church

     Christianity Is Demanding
     Live by Hope
     The Christian Lifestyle
     Christ Is for Us

     We Have Good News!
     God's Great Plan
     Epiphany Proclamation
     Now Is the Time

Selected Prayers
     Make Us Worthy, Lord
     Abandonment in God
     A Prayer for Faith
     Prayer for Peace
     Come, Holy Spirit
     Lord, I Believe
     Prayer to Mary, Our Mother
     A Priest's Prayer to Mary
     A Prayer for Vocations
     Blessed Are We
This book is an excellent little volume. For those with a devotion to Paul VI it will help it grow. For those who do not have a devotion It is packed with some amazing prayers and wisdom. And for casual readers it will open up the man, his though and his faith to you. And because of the design and format it can be read through from beginning to end, or randomly read sections as they pick your interest. One of the things I love most were the prayers, both the section of prayers at the end, but also the ones at the end of each chapter. This book is worth more than the price even if only used as a prayer book. My favorite prayer from the selected prayers on my first reading through is:

"Make Us Worthy, Lord

Make us worthy, Lord,
to serve our fellow men
throughout the world,
who live and die in poverty and hunger.
Give them today, through our hands,
their daily bread,
and through our understanding love,
give peace and joy. Amen."

Some of the prayers from the ends of chapters that I highlighted are:

"Jesus Master, I believe in you. Make me a true disciple-not merely in words, but in how I live my life. The standards of the world are so different from those you preached. Grant me the courage to be true to who I am-a Christian, a follower of you, Lord. You are my Way, my Truth, and my Life."

"Jesus, loving Master, your life is one great lesson in love! You say to me, "As I have done, so are you to do." I desire to follow you in the way of love by reaching out to those who need my help, listening to those who need understanding, resonating with those who need compassion, and encouraging those who need to be urged on. Help me always remember that it is you inviting me in my brother and sister."

"My hope, O Lord, is in you. You are my Way, my Truth, my Life; my one and supreme good. Help me to never lose sight of my ultimate destination or be detoured by the maze of slogans clamoring for my attention. Keep my heart and my gaze fixed on you, who give meaning to everything in and around me."

"Jesus Master, living the Gospel is not always easy and I often find myself challenged in living humility, patience, gentleness, and reconciliation, and bearing with one another in love. But with you, all things are possible and you have promised every grace to those who ask. So I ask you to help me live, generously and un-afraid, the Christian life as you modeled it."

"Jesus Incarnate, let me be like the star that by its glow leads others to you. May I always witness to you by what I think and say and do. In whatever ways I can, I want to spread your Good News to as many persons as possible, for you alone give meaning to our lives. May everyone know you, love you, and follow you, Lord."

The single passage from the writings of Paul VI that is really sticking with me is:

"Beloved sons and daughters! Let us maintain the desire for a life modeled after the Christian lifestyle. The Christian lifestyle is not always easy. It is, we know, a demanding style of living, sometimes inconvenient, and not always fashionable. But remember: it must not be judged only by what it takes away, but evaluated by what it gives. And if it is engraved on us by the law of sacrifice, that is, by the Cross, remember, or rather, experience for yourselves the paradox characteristic of the Christian way of life. It consists in an extraordinary and simultaneous fusion of braking and thrusting, of moderation and vitality, of sorrow and joy. The present life finds in this lifestyle its highest and fullest expression, as Saint Paul said: "I am overjoyed in all our affliction" (2 Cor 7:4).

May God help all of us impress on our modern life a new style, sweet and austere, the Christian lifestyle."

I hope this sampling of prayers and quotes will inspire you to pick up this book and give it a read. It is an excellent little volume and I know that I will be returning to it again and again!.

Saint Pope Paul VI pray for us.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Other books by or about Pope Paul VI:
Love's True Meaning The Message of Humanae Vitae 50 Years On - Fr Anthony Doe
Paul VI - Anthony Symondson- CTS Biographies
Wisdom from Pope Paul VI - Mary Leonora Wilson FSP
Saint Pope Paul VI  - Matthew Bunson